Tag: Zach Grable

Student Exchange Day Highlights Differences in Schools Across County

Words: Sasha Allen and Emily Hollwedel

Photos: Zach Grable

On Wednesday, March 27, six students from Long Reach in the Howard County Student Exchange program visited Centennial to see what it was like to go to a different school.

Overall, the response to the exchange day was positive. “It’s not too different from Long Reach, but it’s very unique,” said Elijah Saunders, a junior at Long Reach. However, Sanders did notice a social difference.

“Everyone [at Centennial] seems to get along with each other pretty well, but at Long Reach people are pretty distant,” said Saunders.

Other Long Reach students saw a different side of the social interaction at Centennial. Jada Sanders, a visiting student, decided to ask James MacLellan, Centennial freshman and her guide for the day, about the rumors she had heard.

“I heard some stuff about how it’s ‘clique-y,’ and I asked [James] if that was true and he said in some ways, yes because people like to stick with their own groups and sometimes don’t talk to other people.”

“Despite what group people associate with, [Long Reach students] talk to other people,” says Sanders. She was excited to participate in the exchange day, and was glad she went. “I wanted to have an open mind and see what you guys did on a daily basis… I heard things [about Centennial] but I went to see for myself what it was.”

The visiting students did come to an agreement on the biggest difference at Centennial, and Long Reach student Sui Cin highlighted this variation between the schools. “The diversity of the school, that is very different. I think that here, it is very distinguished, but if you go to Long Reach it’s so mixed… here you can see [what types of] people go [to Centennial].”

Sanders also seemed to notice this difference. “Looking in most of the classes and in the halls, demographics [are very different than at Long Reach].”

Cin also seemed particularly impressed by the fine arts at Centennial. “This school has many fine arts. I was watching theatre and you guys were so passionate about it.”

Rachel Henry, a senior at Wilde Lake and the creator of the program had the chance to visit Glenelg on Wednesday as well. “The halls are very quiet at Glenelg. You won’t hear chatter…it’s just silent.”

However, she, like the Long Reach students, noticed the difference in diversity.

“[The swap day] was the first time in all of my years of schooling I had a class without any African American people. Though I tried not to notice race as much, it was inevitable.”

On April 3, Centennial students will travel to Long Reach and Glenelg students will go to Wilde Lake. Although all of the students noticed differences between their schools and the exchange school, they were able to come together and share their experiences at the two schools, and students look forward to the next exchange day.

 

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Sara Duran is Named Centennial’s 2019 Teacher of the Year

Words: Javiera Diaz-Ortiz

Photos: Zach Grable

This morning, Teacher-of-the-Year nominees, along with seniors selected by them, gathered in the staff lounge for the first ever Teacher-of-the-Year Breakfast. At the breakfast, English teacher Sara Duran was named Centennial’s Teacher of the Year for 2019.

Following the announcement, Duran gladly accepted her award and flowers with a smile.

“I feel honored,” said Duran. “I was in shock, and I’m really thankful for the seniors who voted for me.”

Duran is in her seventh year of teaching at Centennial. She has also been the sponsor for Centennial’s National Honor Society, and she is currently an SAT coordinator. Being a multi-level English teacher has allowed Duran to watch some of the seniors grow.

“I do think that this is a phenomenal group of students, and they’re unlike any other class that I’ve taught before them,” Duran claimed. “So, it’s an extra special honor not to just be there as they graduate, but also to be part of their moving-on to the next step of their lives. And I know that they will all be really successful in whatever they do.”

Nominees present at the breakfast expressed their praise for Duran.

“[Duran] is a great person and a great teacher, and I’m happy for her. She’s so deserving,” said teacher of the year nominee Lauren Mancini.

Leading up to her win, Duran overcame some challenges, as all teachers do. She says that she has had to find a balance between rigor and fun, both for her students, and for herself as a teacher.

“That’s something that for me, took a little while to figure out, and weirdly, last year was the year that I was able to get that together,” said Duran.

With her title as Teacher of the Year, Duran will give a speech at graduation this May.

“It’s definitely a privilege, an honor, with this class especially.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Celebrates Six New Members Inducted into the CHS Athletics Hall of Fame

Words: Joey Sedlacko

Photos: Zach Grable

On Saturday, February 9, Centennial High School inducted six new members into the Centennial High School Athletics Hall of Fame. The Class of 2019 included Alex Ashcroft, Don Augustin, Jonathan Dupski, Anna Mitchell, Kevin O’Connor, and Sarah Parks.

The inductees were nominated by athletic coaches at Centennial for their outstanding achievements in Centennial athletics during their high school careers.

The ceremony took place in the gym before the boys’ Varsity basketball game.  A list of the accomplishments by each of the inductees was read by the PA announcer as the inductees walked across the basketball court to accept their Hall of Fame plaque.

Sarah Parks was not in attendance for the ceremony, but expressed her utmost gratitude for the award.

The Hall of Fame plaques for the 2019 class will be hung above the gymnasium doors along with the rest of the plaques for the Centennial Athletic Hall of Fame.

After the ceremony, the Centennial boys’ Varsity basketball team defeated Long Reach High School 61-57 to improve to 10-7 overall and 8-4 in the county. 11 three-pointers by Centennial lifted the team to victory on Saturday evening.

The Eagles were led by seniors Stafford Smith and Ryan Hollwedel. Smith scored a game high 22 points while Hollwedel added 15 to help the team defeat the Lightning.

The boys’ Varsity team will celebrate Senior Night as they take on Reservoir High School on Tuesday, February 12 at 5:30pm.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Office of Environment Finds Unsafe Lead Levels in Centennial High School’s Water

Words: Delanie Tucker

Photos: Zach Grable

In the past two months at Centennial High School, students and faculty have been very cautious with their water consumption due to lead reports released in early November by the Howard County School Board.

The reports, which consisted of the results of the lead tests from several Howard County schools, show that 10 of 58 samples taken at Centennial on November 3, 2018 came back positive for levels of lead above the Action Level of 20 parts per billion (ppb).

Tests were taken from all spigots that provide water for consumption; these spigots include water fountains and kitchen sinks.

Other sources of water, such as showers or bathroom sinks, were not tested, as they are not intended to provide drinking water.

Although these lead levels are dangerous when consumed, it is not a current issue, as all affected pipes were shut off within 24 hours of testing, according to a Centennial High School Notice released by Centennial principal, Cynthia Dillon, on November 12.

“The ten impacted water outlets have been shut off, so they cannot be accessed,” Dillon said in the notice. “Currently, no harm is being done because people are not drinking from those outlets.”

Of the original samples taken, 11 came back positive, one of which was voided due to the sampled faucet not being a drinking source.

Of the other ten, four contained under 25 ppb, one between 25 and 30 ppb, two between 30 and 35 ppb, and three above 35 ppb.

The three above 35 ppb were from a sink in the indoor concession stand, a sink in the Family and Consumer Science classroom, and a planning area sink for teachers.

Several steps need to be taken before the county even considers turning the water back on in these areas. They include evaluating the cause of the lead build up, replacing specific fixtures as necessary, or bypassing sources of lead in the plumbing.

If nothing works, the impacted fixture will be permanently shut down.

“The pipes won’t be turned back on until these things are done,” Dillon stated. “They’re going to evaluate whether or not it’s the fixture or something else that’s causing lead in the water. There may be some that they determine they can’t fix and they may permanently turn it off.”

The Howard County School Board Office of the Environment is working to the best of its abilities to fix the problem.

“It’s a big problem and we need to ensure the central office remediates the issues because we want our school to be safe.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Annual National Honors Society Inductions

Words: Natalie Knight-Griffin

Photos: Zach Grable

On Thursday, January 11, Centennial’s National Honor Society (NHS) inducted it’s 66 new members. The junior inductees listened to advice from the senior members of the chapter. An emphasis was placed on the four pillars of the society: leadership, character, scholarship, and service.

Special guest speaker Steven Peth, a former Army pilot who fought during the Vietnam War and current Red Cross Volunteer, spoke on the importance of service. Steven shared his personal war story in which he was shot during battle, inspiring his urge to serve the community. After each new member was individually inducted, the group pledged their allegiance to the society.

As the ceremony came to an end, the NHS members and their families joined for cake and refreshments in the cafeteria.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Sports for Life Class Gives Shoes to Students for Christmas

Words & Photos: Zach Grable

The 5th period Sports For Life class very generously bought Tomas Velazquez and Oshwald Srisailam new sneakers as a part of their Christmas gift.

 

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.